How to Ease Pain at the Pump Without Deepening Oil Dependence

As the drumbeat for domestic drilling grows louder, can the Democratic leadership come up with a better alternative than tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Over at the Huffington Post, Shelley Poticha and Geoff Anderson of Transportation for America propose a few ideas that will actually pay dividends. Pols who are serious about reducing the impact of high gas prices should listen up:

We have to
keep pace with demands for public transportation, and give this country
a reason to be proud of its high-speed trains, light-rail lines, and
both rapid and conventional bus transportation options.

We need to make more of our streets safe and convenient for walking
and biking to work, school, shops and public transportation stops. We
have to create incentives for developers to invest in our close-in
suburbs and urban centers, to meet the huge demand for affordable homes
in convenient locations. Americans are not dumb: given the real choice,
we would much rather invest in well-located real estate than in
gasoline.

We are tired of feeling like victims — whether of oil companies, poor
planning, or a lack of vision. Americans are ready for innovative
change, if only our leaders will follow the people’s charge.

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Today’s Headlines

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Is the Obama administration really cutting New York’s transit security funding? Lawmakers say yes (AP), White House says no (AP) Senate climate bill, backed by capital’s biggest transport reform group, could undermine existing clean-air rules (MoJo Blogs) Gas tax remains a bugaboo, but Dems are pursuing an oil liability fee in wake of Gulf oil […]

Share Your National Vision With the President-Elect

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Union Station, Denver, CO With the Obama administration indicating that it may counter the current economic slowdown with much-needed infrastructure investment, Transportation for America has issued a letter calling for the president-elect to "lay the groundwork for a clean-energy future that is less dependent on oil." T4A has set up a page for members of […]

House Bill Makes Connection Between Transit Funding and Gas Price Relief

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Here’s an alternative to the "Drill Now!" mantra that doesn’t involve ethanol subsidies or depleting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Earlier this month, Congressman Earl Blumenauer introduced the Transportation and Housing Choices for Gas Price Relief Act [PDF]. Blumenauer’s hometown paper, The Oregonian, calls the measure a "smart bill": The key word in that title is […]

Ask the Candidates to Talk Transportation at Tomorrow’s Debate

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Insert new question here. We’ve noted throughout this election season that transportation policy is something of a third rail in presidential politics. Gas prices and auto industry jobs are irresistible fodder for campaign promises, but even the candidate who has decent ideas about rail travel and bike infrastructure doesn’t mention transit on the stump. (The […]

Calling on Fans of Transit: Get in the Game

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Rob Perks is the transportation advocacy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. As someone who commutes to work on the Metro, I’m a big fan of public transportation. Earlier this week, as I was persusing the sports section of the Washington Post, I read a great story about a super fan. His name is Joel […]

Retired Military Leaders, Corporate CEOs: Driving Alone Aids Terrorists

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What do the president of FedEx, the former Director of National Intelligence, and 19 other business and military leaders have in common? They’re urging the U.S. to adopt less oil-intensive transportation habits. They say our national security depends on it. Retired military officers have joined forces with business tycoons to form the Energy Security Leadership […]